5 Reasons Why Tossing Your Hard Drive is a Bad Idea

Feb 6, 2019

Upgrading to new computer equipment for your business is exciting, because it will likely increase efficiency and competitive edge, but also frustrating, because of the cost and delays associated with switching over. Of course, that doesn’t even take into account the big question of what to do with your old devices once the upgrade process is complete.

Shoving them in a locked supply closet for who-knows how long isn’t a viable solution – that space could be put to better use for inventory or even employee workspace, and you don’t want to risk the possibility of theft from either internal or external sources. Can you simply toss your old hard drives in the trash?

While this is certainly an easy solution, the repercussions for doing so could be severe. Why is it a bad idea to toss old hard drives? Is there a better alternative? Here’s what every Sioux Falls, SD business should know.

1. It’s bad for the environment. It’s actually illegal to dump old electronics, known collectively as e-waste, because they often contain harmful toxins like lead, mercury, cadmium, bromine, and more. If you are caught dumping such items, you could be charged and fined under the law. Not only do you want to avert these legal penalties, but you should avoid polluting the environment, especially within the communities that support your business.

2. It could lead to identity theft. When you throw things in the trash, they become public property. When it hits the curb, you lose all reasonable expectation of privacy. Of course, this doesn’t give dumpster-diving thieves the right to use what you throw away for illegal purposes like identity theft, but when you carelessly toss your hard drives full of confidential data and thieves steal and use that data for their own gain, you’re just as much at fault for compromising the privacy of your customers and employees.

3. It doesn’t comply with privacy laws. In addition to exposing your customers to the horrors of identity theft when you toss old hard drives, you’re also failing to comply with privacy laws that require you to handle confidential consumer data in specific ways, whether you’re storing it or disposing of it. In addition to potential lawsuits from affected customers, you could also face government charges and penalties.

4. It could lead to data breach. In addition to virtually handing over consumer data to thieves when you trash your hard drives, you could open yourself up to data breach, which could lead to even greater disruption of your business, including further theft of sensitive consumer, employee, and company data. This could result in additional legal trouble, loss of reputation and revenue, and ultimately, a questionable future for your company.

5. There’s a better way. Tossing your hard drives is clearly unwise, but it seems even worse when you understand there’s an easy alternative. All you have to do is partner with a reputable and certified ITAD service provider to securely pick up, transport, store, and destroy your hard drives and other devices, completely eliminating confidential data before recycling remains and providing you with a Certificate of Destruction and Recycling as proof.

If you need help destroying your old hard drives and devices, contact the experts at SEAM today at 605-274-SEAM (7326) or online to learn more.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.